I used the holiday season to reflect on where I am at with my business and career, including reflection on what I am passionate about. We tend to ignore to stop and think, and I am also guilty of not doing it often enough. Reflecting on things moving to a new year is good. I have set my goals and aims for what I need to do this year. I am fortunate to be able to continue working with fantastic clients on a global basis.
The decision to write a third business book is made
The holiday reflection was also part of my reflection on what my third business book should be about. The first two published business books focused on expanding your business outside your native country. The third one will be what I am passionate about and reflect on what I have learned over the past few years working with companies and their productization and go-to-market efforts. I decided to start writing a third book while reading interesting books during the holidays that truly opened my eyes. I will be reflecting on those in additional blog posts. Specifically, one book hit me hard, and it has to do with the information flow that we are hit every day and makes us weaker in creating true knowledge. More to follow on this topic later.
Spending time on the right things is critical
I have been fortunate to educate hundreds of channel partners in the lifecycle management of intellectual property (IP) with different types of organizations, from start-ups, fortune 100, solution providers, and system integrators. I have seen hundreds of business cases, roadmaps, and go-to-market plans. When you run from one case to another, you tend not to stop and think. I finally had time to think and ask myself: What am I passionate about? What are the things I want to go deep into? What things do I need to know but not spend too much time on? For the past two years, I have put time into things that, in retrospect, I should have minimized and put time on things that I am passionate about and want to become ever better at.
Educating, researching, and learning makes me happy
I get happy when I educate people about different things. To do this, I must spend much time researching and reading to transfer knowledge to the customer/listener. What makes me happy is when I see the client move forward with whatever it is that we are working on. As part of the reflection on my passion, it finally “sank in” the past couple of weeks when I worked with partners and their business models to think about the TELLUS value proposition.
My value proposition is simple - it is all about IP, packaging it, and creating a go-to-market plan
The core value proposition is to help an organization realize its dreams of creating packaged IP that allows the organization to scale the business. I work with every aspect of the lifecycle phase, from the initial innovation/envision sessions, building the roadmap (based on horizons), pricing/packaging the solution, defining a go-to-market plan, and eventually defining the channel, which today needs to be a commercial marketplace and potential channel partners.
I have lived in independent software vendor (ISV) and solution provider/system integrator roles. I am more than ever convinced that channel partners need to create IP to be able to survive in the future. There is no way that the current hourly labor selling will pay off. It does not scale, and you have the daily worry about having somebody on the bench. I have been part of this worry and will never want to experience it. I am especially proud of some former cases where I have been part of the management deciding to create IP to scale. One is Valo Solutions (part of German Staffbase today), an industry-leading Intranet solution. I was part of the board making the decision, and the team made it a huge success. Those are decisions that every solution provider should consider.
New rising area of tremendous interest - enterprises creating IP and building a software business
Another area that excites me is cases where traditional enterprises have built software tools and solutions for internal use and then decided to commercialize the business. What is happening in these organizations is that they are building a software business that is very different from what they have today. My role is to take these organizations from the initial envisioning to getting the solution to the market.
Education offerings, including technology education like Office 365, are part of what we do and continue to do
To summarize this write-up, I wanted to remind myself what matters to me professionally and what I want to focus on. I will continue working on educating professionals and hopefully influence people to continue their education. That is one of the reasons why TELLUS also represents Storyals, which is based on a modern educational approach (story-based) and helps office and frontline workers use Office 365. I am excited about this year and will hold myself accountable for my work and the topics I want to learn more about. For example, one of my 2023 objectives is to share the literature I find interesting and worth checking out.
Don't let the organization lessen your value as a professional. Ensure you have a continuous learning mode in your professional life
Have you stopped and reflected on whether you are on the right track with your professional life and whether you are maintaining your value to the marketplace? Don’t let the organization you are working with diminish your professional value. Instead, make smart choices; that is the only way you wake up every morning excited to get going.